Publisher: Random House Canada

#BookReview Free Love by Tessa Hadley @randomhouseca #FreeLove #TessaHadley #RandomHouseCanada

#BookReview Free Love by Tessa Hadley @randomhouseca #FreeLove #TessaHadley #RandomHouseCanada Title: Free Love

Author: Tessa Hadley

Published by: Random House Canada on Feb. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 328

Format: Paperback

Source: Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A compulsive new novel about one woman’s sexual and intellectual awakening in 1960s London.

1967. While London comes alive with the new youth revolution, the suburban Fischer family seems to belong to an older world of conventional stability: pretty, dutiful homemaker Phyllis is married to Roger, a devoted father with a career in the Foreign Office. Their children are Colette, a bookish teenager, and Hugh, the golden boy.

But when the twenty-something son of an old friend pays the Fischers a visit one hot summer evening, and kisses Phyllis in the dark garden after dinner, something in her catches fire. Newly awake to the world, Phyllis makes a choice that defies all expectations of her as a wife and a mother. Nothing in these ordinary lives is so ordinary after all, it turns out, as the family’s upheaval mirrors the dramatic transformation of the society around them.

With scalpel-sharp insight, Tessa Hadley explores her characters’ inner worlds, laying bare their fears and longings. Daring and sensual, Free Love is an enthralling, irresistible exploration of romantic love, sexual freedom and living out the truest and most meaningful version of our lives.


Review:

Sophisticated, astute, and passionate!

Free Love is an intimate, sentimental tale that sweeps you away to London in the late 1960s and into the life of Phyllis Fischer, a middle-aged married mother of two who, after feeling mostly content as a housewife for years, suddenly has a reawakening when she embarks on a love affair with Nicholas, the twenty-something-year-old son of family friends.

The prose is lyrical and descriptive. The characters are authentic, honest, and multi-layered. And the plot sweeps you away into a compelling, greek tragedy-like saga about motherhood, independence, responsibility, age disparity, adultery, seduction, desire, secrets, freedom, independence, compromise, and love.

Overall, Free Love is an atmospheric, pensive, provocative tale by Hadley that does a wonderful job of highlighting all the challenges and changes women experienced both personally and professionally during that time, and although I don’t think it will be everybody’s cup of tea, it is abundantly clear from the outset that Hadley is an exquisite literary writer with an uncanny ability to lay bare the lengths and sacrifices humanity will go to all for the sake of love.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tessa Hadley

TESSA HADLEY is the author of seven highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, Clever Girl, The Past and Late in the Day, and three collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love and Bad Dreams. The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She lives in London and is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker and other magazines.

Photo by Mark Vessey.

#BookReview Hello I Want to Die by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Hello I Want to Die by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

Published by: Random House Canada on Aug. 6, 2019

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A vibrant, compelling memoir from a remarkable young woman that bravely reveals the real-life havoc wrought by depression and the urgent search for solutions. Illuminating, completely engaging–it’s essential reading for all since we all know someone whose life, family or friends are touched by the disease that directly afflicts a fifth of Canadians.

In her early twenties, while outwardly thriving in her dream job and enjoying warm familial support and a strong social network, award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny found herself trapped by feelings of failure and despair. Her first suicide attempt–ingesting a deadly mix of sleeping pills and antifreeze–landed her in the ICU, followed by weeks of enforced detention that ran the gamut of horrifying, boring, hilarious, and absurd. This was Anna’s entry into the labyrinthine psychiatric care system responsible for providing care to millions of Canadians.

As she struggled to survive the psych ward and as an outpatient–enduring the “survivor’s” shame of facing concerned family, friends, and co-workers; finding (or not) the right therapist, the right meds; staying healthy, insured, and employed–Anna could not help but turn her demanding journalist’s eye on her condition and on the system in which she found herself. She set off on a quest to “know her enemy,” interviewing leading practitioners in the field across Canada and the US–from psychiatrists to neurological experts, brain-mapping pioneers to heroic family practitioners, and others dabbling in novel hypotheses. She reveals in courageously frank detail her own experiences with the pharmacological pitfalls and side effects of long-term treatment, and offers moving case studies of conversations with others, opening wide a window into how we treat (and fail to treat) the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world.


Review:

Informative, honest, and perceptive!

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is the first-hand, candid story of Anna Mehler Paperny’s personal, ongoing struggle with suicidal ideation and depression, as well as an in-depth look into the mental health care industry and the limitations, resources, misunderstandings, and treatments that surround it.

The writing is clear, moving, and educative. And the novel is an exceptionally researched, impassioned tale of one woman’s battle to maintain life while her brain consistently tells her to end it.

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is, ultimately, part memoir, part investigation that includes statistical data and interviews with Canadian and North American health care professionals that is a valuable, emotive resource for anyone, anywhere who suffers from, works with, or is affected in any way by this disease that wreaks havoc on over 300 million lives worldwide.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anna Mehler Paperny

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY is an award-winning reporter for Reuters based in Toronto. Over a decade she's chased down stories ranging from the opioid crisis to migration, from post-quake Haiti to Guantanamo Bay. She's written for the Kingston Whig-Standard, the Edmonton Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Maclean's Magazine; as a staff reporter at The Globe and Mail; and a reporter-editor for Global News, where she developed globalnews.ca's award-winning Investigative Data Desk. Her work on deaths in Canadian prisons won an investigative journalism award. At Queen's University, she spent most of her time working on the campus newspaper.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview The Thirst by Jo Nesbo @RealMrJoNesbo ‏@RandomHouseCA

#BookReview The Thirst by Jo Nesbo @RealMrJoNesbo ‏@RandomHouseCA Title: The Thirst

Author: Jo Nesbo

Series: Harry Hole #11

Published by: Random House Canada on May 4, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

THERE’S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS…
A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer.

HE’S IN YOUR HOUSE… HE’S IN YOUR ROOM
Under pressure from the media to find the murderer, the force know there’s only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case.

HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD
When another victim is found, Harry realises he will need to put everything on the line if he’s to finally catch the one who got away.


Review:

Welcome back Harry Hole!

This a brilliantly crafted, dark, gritty thriller that takes us on a hunt for a sadistic serial killer with a taste for blood and causes Harry to come face-to-face with some of the demons that haunt him.

The writing is seamless, precise and vivid.  The characterization is spot on with characters that are driven, selfish and flawed, including the tough and tenacious Harry Hole whose greatest struggles persistently involve his own addictions and obsessions. And the plot is a twisty, violent, tension-filled thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning and will definitely leave you speechless by the end.

Once again Nesbo has proven that when it comes to writing clever, gripping, fast-paced police procedurals with exquisite character development and spine-chilling storylines he’s one of the best.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Doktor Proktors Prompepulver.

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